It has come to my attention that an increasing number of people arrive here looking for guidance on how to legally remove a dead badger, only to leave disappointed. Never let it be said that I don’t respond to popular demand; here is what you need to know.
Enacted in 1916 as an emergency war measure, the Meles Meles (Deceased) Act was rushed through the Commons with only twelve MPs in attendance, sandwiched between a debate on the restriction of access to string for the under-fives and a motion on the proper labelling of ham. Both proposals were rejected, leaving only the badgery filling to be scraped off the legislative highway.
But I digress.
As with any roadkill, the very first item of business is to shave the badger. Starting with the off-side foreleg, shave against the lie of the fur with firm, even strokes, working your way anti-clockwise around the badger until you reach the snout. If the badger is lying prone*, you can now shave straight down the dorsal stripe. This will be of great help with stage five, in which we attach the aqualung.
For the moment, however, stand back and admire your work – there can be few sights more majestic than a freshly shaven badger. You may notice passers-by stopping to stare; this is well-deserved recognition for performing your civic duty.
You are now ready to distress the badger. Many people feel this stage to be gratuitous, arguing that a badger that has breathed its last is beyond the words of mortal man. This is a grave error; an undistressed dead badger will turn rancid, and may bolt. By this stage you should have formed a good working relationship with your badger, but you must put these feelings to one side and draw from your innermost core of rage. This will not be easy for either of you.
Equipped with an edging hoe and approaching from upwind, circle the badger (this time clockwise), scattering beef suet evenly around the perimeter. Fix the badger with a stern gaze (do not worry if it appears oblivious), and insult its mother, who surely was the sluttiest badger in the sett. Did its sister not openly cavort with the vole, yea, and the ferret too? Go for the jugular, both literal and metaphorical: using the hoe with short stabbing motions, question the badger’s rhetoric. Its prose is forced, and of stilted meter; its grasp of fiscal policy is shallow and facile; it abuses the fallacy of composition.
Tears may be flowing freely at this point: yours or the badger’s, it matters not. While giving off (among other things) an air of apparent stoicism, no badger is unmoved by criticism of its debating skills. Upon reaching your client, genuflect to the north and rub lightly first with unsalted butter, then with winter-grade motor oil, ensuring of course that the ears are well tended.
A badger prepared in this way can last for up to 9 months in the refrigerator, or approximately two weeks in a well ventilated cupboard. Of course, the above steps are all optional, and indeed not mentioned in the legislation at all: you can, if you wish, skip straight to the final stage:
Place badger in bin.
*Ever since a badger killing spree in the 70s in which a lawyer used a Renault to run over and collect innumerable supine badgers, they have lain in something of a legal Laguna. Members of the public encountering a badger that has expired in a supine position are advised to turn it over and treat as if prone.